News and Views Roundup

Here are some stories and articles that have garnered my attention this week.

Marriage for the Common Good

James K.A. Smith is a Philosophy Prof at Calvin College, and a generally stupendous fellow who spins a solid stream of social commentary. Over at Cardus he wrote a great article called Marriage for the Common Good. Challenging the concept of Wedding, Inc. to the expense of martial success, he writes:

If we want to raise up a generation passionate about the common good, perhaps we should say "No" to the dress—and all of the spectacular trappings of Wedding, Inc.—and instead plan for a marriage with open doors, honest in its vulnerability, even eagerly dependent.

There's a Christian Holocaust in Iraq

The terrorist army ISIS has systematically been killing thousands of Christians, forcing most of them to convert, die, or be displaced from the home their sect of Chaldean Christianity has called home for thousands of years — 700 of which were before Islam existed. Here's a quote from one of the many articles that no one in our government seems to care about.

When U.S. troops invaded Iraq in 2003, there were at least 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. Over the last ten years, significantly in the last few months with the emergence of ISIS, that figure has dropped to about 400,000.

In a region where Christians predate Muslims by centuries, over one million Christians have been killed or have had to flee because of jihadi persecution, while America is basically standing by and watching.

This shouldn't surprise us, but it does. We Western Christians have allowed the relative ease of life for the past few centuries to feel a certain homey warmth about this world which makes us shocked at persecution. But Jesus told us to expect it, and embrace the responsibility of suffering well. Pray for our brothers and sisters in Iraq, and across the world who are suffering.

The Prince of Preachers' Lost Sermons

Charles Spurgeon was an amazing preacher, leader, and teacher of the 19th century. His influence still reverberates today. How often I myself wonder through his words, picking up wisdom like gold from the ground. Well now there's good news for people like me, we've found more of his sermons! Most of these sermons are from his early years — years full of struggle, mistakes, and pleas for grace. As a young pastor, you can imagine I can't wait to get my eager hands on this multi-volume set when it arrives.

A Beautiful Bible is Blowing Up on KickStarter

As a font nerd and a dude who really loves the Bible, this is like some sort of cosmic convergence of awesome things. A book designer/graphic artist/GENIUS named Adam (Coincidence? Of course not) has launched an effort called Bibliotheca. He wants to give the world a Bible that's beautiful to hold, read, and feel in your hands. I will be buying one or more of these.